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A Word From Tim Downs - March 2013 



Dear Friends, 

These are interesting days, for me 
personally, and for all of us as we continue 
this journey through Lenten reflections. I do 
not think it is too much of a stretch to 
connect this season of my own life as I work 
to bring a ministry to a close, and this 
liturgical season in which we contemplate 
another kind of transition, one having to do 
with our own mortality. As I write these 
words, they sound a little morose, and yet 
that is not how I feel either about Lent or my 
pending retirement. 



We often associate Lent with spiritual disciplines:fasting, prayer, or 
often foregoing a particular pleasure or indulgence. I would rather 
consider Lent as a time of renewing trust. This is a season where we 
are invited to cease our striving for a bit, contemplate our limits and 
finitude, and recognize that our "ground of being," the source of 
meaning and truth, is trustworthy beyond all of our efforts, even 
perhaps in the face of death itself. Our God is a trustworthy presence, 
one whose constancy is continually reaffirmed throughout life's 
journey, whether we travel through joy or sorrow, sickness or health. 
We are not alone. 

I recognize that my retirement will involve considerable change for 
me, a claiming or perhaps reclaiming of new priorities in my life, no 
doubt uncertainties, not to mention the inevitability of age and its 
"accumulation of diminishments." Nonetheless, through all my 
seasons, those past and those to come, God's offer is one of 

constancy. This is, after all, the God who has in Jesus Christ come to 
share our "common lot, conquering sin and death, and reconciling the 
whole creation to its Creator." 

Lenten blessings, 
Tim Downs 



UCC Newsroom 

Headlines from the United 
Church of Christ 

UCC minister offers progressive 
praise and worship music for 
download 

A United Church of Christ 
pastor in Chicago working on a 
liturgy of rock oriented worship 
music around themes of justice, 
peace and extravagant 
welcome is getting a lot of 
support for his project from 
ministerial colleagues around 
the denomination. 




[ |^ . 



PROGRESSIVE 

RENEWAL 



Tim Downs 



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